Project #29

Project:#29 Speech


The oral tradition has been with us longer than the written tradition has and yet, in this time the written tradition rules. I don't understand this. One of the advantages of the current computer technology which will allow for a more balanced way to reintroduce the oral tradition is a program like Powerpoint. Have the students use a Powerpoint like program to prepare their oral presentation. "Speechifying" has become a lost art and now we can revitalize it. Oral presentations are crucial in authentic assessment and the presentations of webfolios. The oral presentation can be an organized way the scholar can present hir work. in the Powerpoint like program, the program provides a rough outline of what will be said as reminders to the presenter and keys for the listener. In addition, links to the work mentioned can be made. Speakers very often use Powerpoint like programs for their own use when speaking to large audiences. There is an art to this and we have the opportunity and perhaps the duty to teach this art. And because of the advances in technology we can. The above link to Powerpoint, provides ways in which this can be done.

The way i am now using this program is to have students make a simple presentation which serves as a table of contents about their work. the first slide introduces themselves. the next slides are slides which introduce each of their subject classes with very brief descriptions. These descriptions can be lists of words, phrases, clauses that provide a brief idea of what is to be expected. They serve as prompts for the scholar in the presentation to further elaborate in further oral discussion and description. They further serve as links to the work mentioned so the reader can click and see the work. During a presentation, audience members with computers can go and read for themselves or view later. This makes the process both synchronous and asynchronous and therefore makes assessment more authentic. Finally the whole presentation can be published on the web. With the advance of technology video and audio clips can be added as well for the asynchronous presentation. The possibilities are endless and assessment therefore more authentic and universal.

The Powerpoint link above provides some ideas, but so do these links too.

  • Librivox LibriVox provides free audiobooks from the public domain. Would you like to record chapters of books in the public domain? This is a good site for your scholars to access and to upload.
  • American Rhetoric an important site with more than just the top 100 speeches of the 20th Century.
  • American Writers This site provides discussion questions to support online video clips of an ambitious programming effort by U.S. cable channel C-SPAN. Students can watch and listen to online video clips and use them as the basis for discussion.
  • Big Myth This site uses Shockwave technology to tell creation stories from around the world. Students can read along as they listen to stories told in either English or Dutch. Support materials for each pantheon direct students to further inquiry. The stories are appropriate for many grade levels and varying fluency in English. This site is an *outstanding* example of using new technology for education!
  • Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab Students can click on a link and listen to spoken (American) English. A quiz helps them focus on what they hear, and written transcripts are available. Each lesson contains pre-listening and post-listening activities.
  • Speech Accent Archive presents a large set of speech samples from a variety of language backgrounds.
  • Pearson Education This website contains six modules that you can use along with your textbook to learn about the process of public speaking and to help you prepare your talks.
  • Writing Speeches Writing for public speaking isn't so different from other types of writing.
  • Speech Tips free guide to speech writing and public speaking for eulogies, graduations, best man, father of the bride and any other public speaking engagement.
  • Writing Speeches Writing Speeches That Magnetize Audiences By Michael Meanwell. It's been said that making a speech in public is the number one fear in people's minds. Curiously, the prospect of writing a speech seems to generate a similar effect on many writers.
  • Obama's 3/18 speech on race.


If you can't find anything right away, check in your grammar book. Many have a chapter or two on oral communications. Also, check with your local textbook supplier. Often you can get a sample copy to peruse so you can decide which one to order for your classes.

In the meantime, try to the following:

Opening day: Arrange students in a circle and ask them prepare a short (1 minute) 5 W's and H speech about themselves. Give each one a 4x6 index card (or 1/2 sheet of paper) They can stand behind their desks and present the speech to the rest of the group. It's important to get them on their feet right away in as comfortable a setting as possible. A circle seems to provide the safety and the desk something to hang onto. This activity give everyone an opportunity to learn about the rest of the class and to know what kind of speeches may interest them.

5 W's and H

Who you are? Name, family.
What interests do you have?
What do you hope to get from course?
What previous speaking experiences have you had?
What are your greatest strengths as a speaker?
What are your weaknesses?
When did you have the experience?
When do you hope to use the skills you learn in this course?
Where did you have your most memorable speaking experience?
Where have you lived before?
Why have you taken this course?
How do you feel about speaking?
How do you expect this course to help you?
How can we organize this course to achieve your personal goals?

Generally, a basic speech course includes the following:

Informative Speech
Demonstration Speech
Persuasive Speech
Oral Interpretation of Literature - poetry, short prose, drama, children's lit works well.
Mass Media (often talk show format) Videotape if equipment is available.
Debate - Lincoln Douglas and or Team

Topics that always work because there are definite sides:
Capital punishment
Euthanasia
Abortion

Finally, plan to have the last speech given before a guest audience. I usually have students invite their families to an evening of speech. Students practice phone skills by exchanging home phone numbers - each one calls another's family to invite them to the evening. This will let you know whom to expect.

I generally have this in a small, intimate space. Often the library will work well. Never a large, impersonal space. Not even the auditorium works well.

This is a dress up occasion where the students in the class present a 3-5 minute speech (depending on the size of your class). Usually have one student as MC to welcome the audience, briefly explain the course and introduce the speakers. Conclude the evening with light refresh- ments - something wet and something dry. Pretty table helps.

This final is ALWAYS a hit!!!. Students always make YOU look GOOD!!!! You may want to invite other faculty and administrators. They usually are impressed with the progress the students make.


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